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May 2017 Provost Report, E2

E2, Use Real-Time Forecasting and Modeling to Drive Decisions:

Curriculum and Assessment

The focus of the second half of the 2016-2017 academic year has been on finalizing changes to the General Education curricula, ensuring Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges compliance of instructor credentialing, initializing a data-driven process for making curricular decisions, improving curriculum workflow, completing the secondary assessment of General Education, building institutional assessment capacity, and establishing a national reputation for excellence in assessment.

Data-driven curricular decisions: In late spring 2017, we began examining the diversity and distribution of General Education course offerings. After ensuring that we are offering enough courses to meet the new writing requirement, we began to summarize other General Education offerings to ensure that demand is met and to provide the University General Education Committee (UGEC) with data necessary to make informed decisions about course approvals. These data will also help us ensure that a department's offering of General Education courses is appropriate in number and diversity of courses.

Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Strategic Drive

A primary focus for Institutional Research and Effectiveness is to understand how to disseminate data in a more meaningful way. Over the past several years, the department has recognized the need and institutional demand to find more scalable, user-friendly solutions that could empower the university's faculty and staff to conduct their own data-driven investigations and engage students and alumni with the most up-to-date information. For my area, that meant implementing interactive data visualization tools that help draw smarter insights from the institution's data. 

On this campus and across higher education, the Research Office is the one place that has a view of how everything connects across the university. Institutional Research developed educational tools to inform various stakeholders within and outside of the institution about the critical drivers of effectiveness and success. Our role is to align those drivers with best practices to move the institution forward.